WILLIAMSBURG — The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (CWF), the College of William & Mary (W&M), and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture have joined together to host an annual conference as the 250th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence draws nearer.
The conference series has been named “For 2026.” Each annual conference will bring scholars together to discuss research on the revolutionary era, and it will offer programs for the general public such as lectures, panel discussions, and walking tours of key historic sites.
For 2026 kicks off this year with its inaugural conference, “Revolutionary Legacies,” slated for Oct.28-29 in Williamsburg.
According to W&M, the fall conference will feature two evening plenaries at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, each followed by a reception. Additionally, there will be workshops and lectures at William & Mary’s School of Education. The evening address on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 will be open to both the public and conference attendees.
Friday’s evening address will be a moderated discussion on, “the continuing evolution of historic commemoration,” with WHRO host and Executive Producer Barbara Hamm-Lee as moderator.
The Oct. 28 evening address will feature the following guest speakers:
- Christy Coleman, Executive Director of Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.
- Ed Ayers, Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities, University of Richmond.
- Tommy Norment, Minority Leader of the Senate of Virginia.
On Saturday, Oct. 29, the conference’s closing event at the Art Museums will feature Harvard Law School Professor and Pulitzer Prize winner Annette Gordon-Reed. The guest speaker is also a board member of the Omohundro Institute and has formerly acted as a member of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
Both sessions will be recorded and simulcast via the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Omohundro Institute websites.
Additional seminars and events at the conference will be provided by the Slate Seminar supported by the Mellon Foundation, the W&M Bray School lab, and CWF.
According to W&M, the Slate Seminar is, “a conference within the For 2026: Revolutionary Legacies conference.” The Slate Seminar sessions will highlight the history of the Williamsburg Bray School and the work that the Bray School Lab contributes to studying and preserving the Bray School’s history.
For more information on scheduled lectures, discussions, and events, as well as information on how to reserve tickets, check out the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s website.